Easy .cym easy .go?

As reported by the BBC the .cym domain has come into being. Unfortunately for those people interested in establishing a Welsh linguistic and cultural space on the internet, the Cayman Islands have got there first (do they really need two?).

While this is not a total disaster, it is certainly a bit of a blow. The two questions which spring to my mind are – how did this happen and what will they call it now.

I wonder to what extent the slowness of the ICANN processes has played a part here, or whether they favour straightforward national claims? I also wonder if stronger (or just different) support from the WAG might have made any difference?

Still, in a spilt milk frame of mind, what could the domain be instead of .cym (assuming we can’t buy .cym back?). Well .cwl is quite cute and funny; .cyw might appeal to a younger Welsh internet user; how about .bro or .cwm? Hmm… none of these really strikes me as being as good as .cym. However, maybe the use of a domain name that appears to have a less direct connection to the language might actually be a benefit in terms of attracting registrants. I guess only time will tell, maybe we will have a better idea after the dotCYM AGM this weekend.

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8 Responses to Easy .cym easy .go?

  1. Dafydd Tomos says:

    .cym doesn’t exist. The Cayman Islands simply have first claim on it (as they always have given that it’s their ISO-3166-1 3 letter code.). They may well plan to use it in future, but at the moment it’s not being used. I believe that it has always been ICANN’s policy to reserve the 3 letter codes for their respective countries (which is why .cat was achievable as it’s not an alpha-3 code).

  2. Carl Morris says:

    Having to buy all my domains again with a different tld doesn’t really appeal to me – but I can see its benefit as a way of persuading my compatriots that Wales has truly “arrived” on the web. If they hadn’t already noticed.

    .cymru is the best I think

    I don’t think you want to be cute or funny when it comes to something that needs to be wide-interest and internationally obvious for decades to come. But like I said it would be more about the story within Wales, at least initially.

  3. Given Dafydd’s comments about 3 letter codes being reserved for their respective countries, I wonder if there was ever a chance of .cym being used for a Welsh linguistic and cultural domain? Presumably the dotCYM campaign must have had a realistic expectation of it being acceptable?

    The Independent also carries the story

  4. Mark Turner says:

    I expect the Cayman Islands have registered the tld with the sole intention of selling it to Welsh people 🙂

    Seriously though, it may not be officially Welsh, but, assuming the tld is made available for use by anyone, what’s the problem with using it anyway in an unofficial capacity?

  5. Dafydd Tomos says:

    They haven’t ‘registered’ it. ICANN delegates top-level country domains to the registries that run those domains for each country. They haven’t delegated .cym yet and I can’t find any source at ICANN or the Cayman Islands registry that says anything about it.

    I do know that some individuals have tried to change ICANN policy so that three-letter domains can be released for other uses despite them being reserved according to ISO-3166-1, but I don’t think that was ever passed (I’m sure that would have been big news).

  6. Assuming that Dafydd is correct in disputing the notion that the Caymen Islands have “registered” the domain, then it is hard to see where the actual story is. Presumably something has altered, been ratified, etc that has changed the likelihood that .cym could be used as a Welsh domain? Or is this just a total non-story?

  7. Reading the dotCYM site, they refer to it as a “rule change”, so Dafydds comments look to be right. I’d still be interested in knowing in more detail what has actually changed.

  8. Dafydd Tomos says:

    Not sure if you got my last comment or not, as this blog software is a bit flakey.

    ICANN has been working for many years on preparing a new process of applying for top-level domains, discussing the rules/policies that will be applied for applications. This has taken years because of various disagreements on how to handle this, particularly in the legal field – many want to protect their own interests and ensure that trademarks/company names/country names and yes ISO codes are all given some protection.

    Under old policies, countries that have a three-letter TLD in ISO-3166-1 would get ‘first refusal’ if someone wanted to apply for those TLDs for their own purpose. Under this policy the Cayman Islands could still refuse to allow CYM to be used by someone else, and they did so.

    Under the draft policies for generic TLDs published by ICANN back in May here they explicitly disallow applications where the TLD matches an ISO-3166-1 code. So.. this may not be ‘news’ as such.

    The Cayman Islands may not ever use the .cym TLD, they’ve just blocked its use (in fact it would be unwise for them to migrate or mirror their .ky domain, since it would create confusion and additional costs for their own domain owners).

    Given that .cym is unfeasible, and that ICANN will probably be finalising their policies soon, this is why DotCym are looking for a new domain extension that will be valid under the new policies and more likely to be approved.

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